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Quick Quiz: Neuroblastoma

Page 1 of 7: Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a very rare type of cancerous tumor that develops from nerve cells in the fetus called neuroblasts.1,2 The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 800 new cases of neuroblastoma will be diagnosed in the United States each year, accounting for approximately 6% of all cancers in children.1 How much do you know about neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma primarily originates in the adrenal medulla but can also start in the paraspinal or periaortic regions.3 In some cases, the cancer cells mature into ganglion cells and stop dividing; whereas in other cases, the cancer cells die on their own and the tumor disappears.1 The Children’s Oncology Group separates patients with neuroblastoma into 3 groups: (1) low-risk patients who have stage I disease with easy removal of the tumor; (2) intermediate-risk patients who have stage II disease with <50% of the tumor removed; and (3) high-risk patients who have stage II, III, or IV disease with unfavorable histology.4 The 5-year relative survival rates for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients is 95%, 90%, and 40%, respectively.1 Public awareness of neuroblastoma needs to remain a priority to improve survival rates and increase knowledge concerning this childhood cancer.